Review Detail

Kids Fiction 182
Inspiring Dog Book
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Cosmo is the "big brother" of Max and his young sister Emmaline, and is now 13 years old. He still is very invested in keeping his pack safe, but he has slowed down, and is beset with arthritis. Things are tense in the household-- the parents fight all the time, and Max is often sad and anxious. It helps a bit when Uncle Reggie comes back from his recent deployment, although he is out of work and missing the dog he worked with, Rosie. He introduces Max and Cosmo to canine freestyle dance competition. Since Cosmo is a long time fan of the movie Grease, his aged heart soars when he is able to dance. The family problems continue, but Max tries to keep up with school and his other obligations while his world is falling apart. Max believes that he can keep his parents together by winning the dance competition and getting a spot in a movie, but Cosmo is afraid that the neighbor sheep dog, whom he thinks is evil, will do something in the competition to sabotage them. Eventually, things do fall apart, but Max's parents do not split up the boy and his best friend, and Max does not die. (I read the end of the book first, just to be sure.)
Good Points
There are a lot of books "narrated" by dogs, and most of them assume that dogs are a bit less bright than their humans. Not this one. Cosmo understands more about his humans than they do themselves, and he is keenly aware of Max's emotional state. This is the dog book that we all think our OWN dogs would write. It's really more of a story about divorce and its effects on children, but since we see everything through Cosmo's eyes, this becomes a dog book.

Dog books, like horse books, tend to be pretty timeless, and I always need to add a few to the collection every year. I will buy this one. It made me cry at the end, but it also made me feel better about everything I do for my dog Sylvie (who is also 13 and a little arthritic. She has her own rice bag that I heat up and leave with her in the mornings, although now I feel like I should also leave a radio on!).
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